Isabelle Lutterodt Residue
At the age of twelve I took my first picture using my father's camera. While this piqued my curiosity enough to enroll in photo classes, my deeper interest in photography was fueled by an exhibition of Robert Frank's, Moving Out.
This project is a response to what I see as the interweaving of fact and mythology in the telling of America's history. I began by examining romantic stories of the antebellum Mammy and how this figure, during Reconstruction and beyond, was remade as the domestic worker. As this series of photographs unfolds, the viewer sees dark hands mixing white dough, and the hands gradually get blacker. The text begins with the definitions of two words (sentimental and memories), and chronicles women talking about their experiences as domestic workers. The work selected for inclusion here is part of a longer piece about the history of soul food in the black community.
My purpose as an artist is to question, reassemble, and reassess the answers we have traditionally been given about ourselves. I hope that my work will never stop getting people to ask questions.